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August 30, 2012

Politics and Carbohydrates

By Peter Theis

What do politics and refined carbohydrates have in common?


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Sugar, cookies, cake, soda pop, ice cream, pasta, bread, alcohol... try yodeling every time you eat anything that contains refined carbohydrates and you'll see the absurd amount of this stuff so many of us put into our bodies every day.

A recent 60 Minutes report put forth the question "Is Sugar Toxic?" -- then proceeded to show all the mounting evidence demonstrating the answer is clearly "Yes." Very toxic. As well as devoid of nutrients, loaded with calories, and literally as addictive as cocaine.

Sound at all like the political discourse in our country?

Instead of really researching the issues deeply (nutrient-rich food), we are often animated by sound bites, TV ads, and talking points (empty refined carbs). Instead of holding our minds open to evidence (a healthy balance of diet), we often get angry and self-righteous (toxic indulgence). Instead of focusing on doing as much good for all the citizens of this country (the health of the body), we often think of ourselves -- "What's in it for me and my own?" (I deserve this guilty pleasure).

And our politicians? Oh, they most certainly use the language of  carbohydrates . Each "side" getting us high on the chemical sweetness of hating the other team/tribe/party, while simultaneously stoking the language of denial -- we're not addicted, we just indulge once in a while. It's not an economy and a culture based on the corrosive concept of competition that's the issue, it's those other people who are the problem. And most certainly Einstein was wrong when he said the problems of the world will not be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

Yes, indeed. We can have our cake and it will eat us, too.

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Authors Bio:
PhD in Creative Writing & Literature from the University of Southern Mississippi. CV online here: